Ready to Re-Create?

The date was March 15th, 2020. 

I was sitting in a restaurant with a few friends discussing whether or not I was going to be boarding a flight to California in the morning. I was to be heading west to choreograph a show at an amusement park, and I was really looking forward to working with a team I’d never had the opportunity to meet. Hour by hour, the threat of Covid-19 was becoming more of a reality, so the thought of boarding a plane to travel across the country was becoming increasingly unsettling. 

On the other hand, the commitment to myself, my new cast, and the production team at the park were heavily outweighing the potential health threat. Truly, in my mind, I was already soaring over the Rocky Mountains. I’d already packed, choreographed the show, purchased a mask and gloves, and was ready to rock. After all, it was just two days and I am in good health…

Plot twist: I would not be taking that trip. 

And, that would be the last time we would be having a debate of any kind in a public forum for quite some time. 

As the world starts to slowly re-open, the one industry will likely continue to “wait in the wings” is one that I have been so fortunate to call my career. Events that draw large crowds such as parades, corporate training events, and dance competitions are on the back burner indefinitely. 

Do I think they will make a comeback?- Yes. 
When they do, will they be the same?- No. 
Am I sad about this?- Not necessarily. What if the future is brighter? 

I have taken a lot of time to reflect on what the future may look like for our industry, and I have two thoughts. Both of those thoughts happen to center around the same word: 

“Re-Create.” 

Re-Create is a funny word.
One of those that has multiple meanings. 
A word that can make people feel anxious and calm all at the same time. 

Re-Create: To create something again. 
Re-Create: To start anew. 

So which one is it? 
I believe in success, it is a little bit of both. 

Before I dive in, we need to first address the real elephant in the room. The part of “re-create” that sends people into a tizzy: 
“The idea of ‘anew’… and/or: ‘Change’. 

With the industry in a bit of a holding pattern, there are many of us who have had to look at the next few months and assess how we can shift the journey. The playbook is out the window, but we can’t wait in the queue forever. We have to change the course and ultimately “re-create” the plan.

Which means we have to embrace a bit of change. 
Which means change could set us free from the holding pattern. 

The notion of being “freed by change” is a concept most people, myself at the front of the line, typically find unsettling. As we should. I mean, come on, I don’t even like not knowing how movies are going to end, let alone the thought of my reality as I know it becoming something it is no longer. 

Change means something is going to be different from what we have grown accustomed to, opening the door to variables that are likely momentarily out of our control. That can be scary stuff. But, as suggested, after the dust settles, change is the only way we evolve and, in some cases, become free of what is no longer serving us. 

So how do we embrace or, at the very least, combat the fear of change? 

  1. Catch Feelings: Real talk. You have to accept that with change there will be feelings. A whole slew of them: excitement, sadness, energy, anger… You name it; it’s probably in there. Warn yourself ahead of time that “feeling” is going to happen and that, my friends, is ok. 
  2. Prepare for the Growth Spurt: Remember the days when you would stand against the doorframe in your house and someone would make a little pencil mark above your head?That pencil marks signified change: an acknowledgment of your natural journey. At some point, those pencil marks stopped moving up the door frame because you stopped growing. Unfortunately, with your height, this is just life. I tried for years to pick up a few more inches, but my growth potential was already set. Your mind, however, has unlimited growth potential. In order to grow, there must be change… even simple adjustments can open doors to new thoughts and experiences. Prepare yourself for the growth journey and, like the pencil marks, chart the adventure. 
  3. Take Control: In re-creating your path, accept that you are in control of all changes. This is a luxury. Part of why change is scary is because we don’t see change as in our control. We can take back power by knowing when the plan has become stagnant and then initiate change in our lives. You are in control of you. Read that again.
  4. You Can Always Change: While there is a bit of dissolution with the statement “nothing is permanent”, the sentiment is nice and low-key applies in this instance. The good news about change is that if the changes you make don’t serve you, you can always change the path. Exhale. 

If you believe you are ready to “re-create” your journey, you have accepted you are ready to welcome change. Let change assist in navigating your new chapter. Evolve, grow, learn, and maybe even be freed.
You may find exactly what you are looking for on the other side of your fear. 

But, all of that being said, do not run blindly into the sunset just yet.

Remember, the word “re-create” is tricky. 

I’ll leave you with this thought: 
If you look at the two definitions of “re-create”, the other version does not involve the concept of change. In fact, it encourages the opposite.

Keep in mind, if your current plan isn’t playing out as you’d envisioned and a shift in the path is necessary, think back to the pencil marks on the door frame- the tracking of your journey with limited growth potential. While the journey ultimately stopped, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a success.
You made it to the end goal. 

While you “re-create” your path, hold tight to the values that were successful in carrying you this far. What worked for you the first time around?
Maybe it was your work ethic?
Maybe it was your kindness?
Maybe it was your passion? 

Whatever the case may be, celebrate your success to this point, handpick the experiences that will help mold the future, embrace the fear of change, and welcome new opportunities.

Embrace The Improv

Trigger Warning… 

Let’s talk about IMPROV! 

WAIT! 

Don’t let fear take the wheel! 

Keep reading! 

We all know improv can be scary stuff. 

Let me help you make this a little less terrifying. 

Whether it’s professional or personal, the concept of producing “on the spot” content can cause even the most chill humans to spiral out of control. While musicians, actors, and dancers are often challenged with improv exercises, these artistic types are not the only folks subject to such spontaneity. No matter the calling, we are all faced with situations where the ability to improv can separate the “good” from the “great”. In what appears to be the “new normal” (for at least a little while) our willingness to embrace the improv and grow from self-exploration is another key to our ultimate success. 

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Before I go any further, let’s acknowledge a few reasons WHY the word “improv” triggers uncertainty, and in some cases, actual fear in people: 

There Isn’t a Set Plan. Most people like to have a plan and stick to the plan. Plain and simple. Welp, bad news for those of you who weren’t planning for a Global Pandemic: Here we are. The original plan is out the window. It is now our challenge to recover by developing a new plan. Stuck in your plan development? Keep reading. 

What If You “Fail”? You can’t because, in improv, failure doesn’t exist. Improv encourages you to make every situation work… even if YOU KNOW it isn’t the move. So while a particular choice may feel a little unsettling at the moment, worst-case scenario, you learn what won’t work in your situation. Which inadvertently means, there is no such thing as failure. 

Feeling Vulnerable. Some people believe that shifting away from their original plan can make them look weak and/or susceptible to ridicule. Often you hear the idea of being “vulnerable” equated with “nakedness”. Get over yourself. Sometimes even the very best plans just simply don’t work. Instead of focusing on what others might think, worry about what YOU think and how you will FEEL when you come to a plan that works in your favor. 

The Surrender of Control. In theatre, improv exercises have a few basic rules. The first, and arguably the most important rule of improv is: AGREE TO EVERYTHING presented. For some people, No Control=No Bueno. What is important to know is that the final rule of improv is: THERE ARE NO MISTAKES, ONLY OPPORTUNITIES. Remember, the world is your stage. Go with what’s presented and accept that amazing discovery can be found totally by accident. 

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Now that we have acknowledged a few reasons why improv can cause anxiety and how to potentially shift the concept in your mind, let’s set you up for your success! Taking what we teach in choreography and applying it to general circumstances, these 4 concepts will help you open your mind to the “improv exercises” life throws your way: 

  1. 1. Tricks are Cool but the Set-Up is Key. 
  2. We’ve all seen the moments when dancers leap into the air or spin with their leg positioned next to their faces? Pretty cool right? Don’t be fooled. Those tricks are great but only when they are balanced within smooth phrasing. In any plan, the “wow” moments are certainly exciting. There is no denying we need them to ultimately hold the attention of our audience. That said, if we don’t pay attention to the transitions between our “wow” moments, our plan can become very choppy. While you are improvising, think about the big picture “quality of moment”. Take time to hone in on the details of your journey and cohesiveness of all moving parts. Your tricks are MUCH more exciting if we don’t see them coming. 

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  1. 2. Unpredictable vs. Predictable. 
  2. Improv exercises in dance are typically driven by music. Because improv is about exploration, I encourage artists to dabble in the  “unpredictable” when it comes to how they move to said music,  while not losing sight of the fact that audiences may appreciate the artists coming back to something that feels familiar or even predictable. Though your improv may not be driven by “actual” music, I encourage you to use your societal pulse as your backbeat. Shake it up by playing with new, exciting concepts that push the envelope while still choosing to come back to what is relatable for your audience. Your measure of what works for YOU will be trial and error so remember, there are no mistakes, only discovery. 

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  1. 3. Just Keep Moving.. or Don’t. 
  2. Whether you choose to move full speed ahead or choose to stop and pause, commit fully to the choice. If you give something 100% commitment, it is likely your audience will never even realize it if it isn’t exactly what YOU deem a “success”. Commit to your choices and later reflect on how you can continue to improve. 

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  1. 4. Practice. 
  2. If you believe you will be successful at anything in your life without putting in the practice, please let me be the one to clear something up for you: You are wrong. All things in life require practice and improv is no different. The more you allow yourself to embrace the idea of improv and workshop scenarios and concepts, the easier it will be for you to have fluid thoughts in key moments. 

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Above and beyond all of these points, it is most important to remember this: 

Without improvisation, you will not continue to grow and develop your style. 

No matter the industry, having a clear voice, and sharing a story that is personal to you will set you apart from the pack. Through improv, you will continue to discover who you are and what you bring to this thing called life, so CELEBRATE the challenge to be creative and spread your wings. Look your fears in the face with a loud and proud, “Yes, and…” statement and watch new opportunities unfold. 

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This Week’s Overture: 3.30.2020

I saw a ladybug yesterday. 

She was walking next to me on the sidewalk while I retreated from my apartment in an effort to feel normal. Likely unaware of the state of the world, she trotted by, flapping her wings trying escape the steamy concrete. 

Ladybugs are a sign of good luck, you know?
In fact, if you do a little research about them, you will find the following: “Ladybugs are generally associated with good fortune and good luck. They bring with them a sense of future prosperity. Their bright and colorful look, along with their happy-go-lucky travels, mean living life without boundaries.

My friend Christina, a very special “later in life” friend once explained the magic of ladybugs. She told me that anytime you see a ladybug it means amazing things are about to happen. As I am an extremely superstitious person, drawn to any suggestions pertaining to good luck and positive outcomes, I knew this was a sign. 
Good luck and good fortune ahead. 
Forever. Indefinitely. 

Period. 

So, I stopped to observe, pay my respects to her magic and, real talk, simply say hello.
I mean, I get social distancing.
People on the street exercising refuse to even make eye contact these days.
Seriously.  You will not contract Covid-19 through a smile and a wave. Things I now miss.
But I digress. 

I crouched down and pulled my phone out of my arm band to take a picture for my good friend.  As I got closer, I noticed my little buddy had a broken wing. Even still, she was fighting hard to fly. 
Eventually, after we built some trust with one other, she crawled up my finger and I gave her a push. 
Off she went to go live her best, happy-go-lucky life without boundaries.
Nary a care in the world.

No quarantine. 
No social distancing. 
No threat of global pandemic. 

This really struck a chord with me. 

As I watched her fly away, unfazed by her own  broken wing, I saw the uncertainty of the next few weeks ahead with a restored sense of peace. 

The sooner we trust and listen to medical professionals working tirelessly to provide care and solutions in this time of crisis, the sooner we will see the results in our own lives.

With a strong dose of faith mixed with some good common sense, we can train our minds to calm down. 

Even in a time when our hope feels broken, if we all stick together, do our part to help and believe in a little magic, we too will fly again.

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Go 4 It! 4 Tips 4 “Socially Distanced”

Team Member Engagement

We do not need to beat a dead horse, however this is not an ideal situation for most teams. 

Whether we are talking about an athletic team or work team, it is really challenging to keep members engaged and even remain engaged ourselves.

Here are our 4 tips 4 remaining engaged from a distance: 

1. Respect the Distance: Part of a positive team culture is trust. While you may be used to ACTUALLY seeing your team’s productivity with your own eyes, times have changed. Though normally you may not be the micromanaging type, resist the urge to want to know the team’s every movement. Schedule a call one hour after they have started their day and one hour before their day ends to review goals and measure results. 

2. I Challenge You: Kick the week off with a challenge for your team that DOES NOT directly involve anything having to do with their job responsibilities. Get creative and offer a prize at the end.

3. We Got Spirit, Yes We Do: Just because we are working from home doesn’t mean we can’t show a little team spirit! Hold a “Spirit Week”, creating a different theme for each day. Whether it is “Dress like your Boss Day” or “Throwback Thursday”, team members will have fun sharing silly pictures of themselves playing along with the group! Give it a hashtag and involve social media so the world can see just how fun your team/company is! 

4. The Happiest of Hours: Ok, so maybe not every team can participate in a traditional “Happy Hour” but you can still bring your team together to share a little happy! Send an invitation to participate in “The Happiest of Hours” through a video conferencing platform. At the meeting, everyone has to share the happiest thing that happened to them this week.
Personal refreshments optional! 

“Oh How the Tables Have Turned”
Episode 8:
 
Featuring Founder/CEO- Kelly Daugherty 

For our final episode in the Season 1: 8 part interview series of our podcast “Choreograph Your Life”,  the tables have turned on host Kelly Daugherty, who finds herself in the hot seat. Listen in as episode 8 host, Kim Daugherty, gets to the bottom of how Kelly choreographs her own day, how she stays wildly motivated and finally asks the burning question: “What does that “s” stand for in The KDs Collaborative?” 

“Choreograph Your Life” is available this Wednesday at 2pm EST on Spotify and iTunes or wherever you download your favorite podcasts.

This Week’s Overture: 3. 23. 2020

Well, last week was a certainly uncharted territory.  

I had no idea I was capable of experiencing such a variety of emotions in such a short amount of time. As someone who is typically very optimistic and relatively pleasant, I felt wildly out of control of my own disposition.

One moment I felt anxious, the next- hopeful. 

Sometimes I would find myself crying, then, the next thing I knew- laughter. 

In addition, I felt like I was playing a game of “Never Ever, Have I Ever: The Survival Version”; just checking off boxes, one more bizarre than the next. 

Who WAS this person? Real talk: I was NOT prepared for that Kelly to show up. 

  • She was high strung and had over-active tear ducts. 
  • She had a tendency to get real snappy with innocent bystanders. 
  • She certainly didn’t seem to feel like showering was a real necessity… 
  • She talked a big game about “staying positive” but behind the scenes threw a series of pity parties and would cower in the corner. 

What a smelly hypocrite. 

This was “Crisis Mode Kelly” and it was NOT a good look.

But then I looked again and found some redeeming qualities: 

  • She put on her brave face for people who needed hope. 
  • She was creative in strategies to help stay connected with loved ones. 
  • She gave herself purpose by continuing to teach from her living room. 
  • She cooked- not well, but there was effort. 
  • She cleaned- even worse, but again, effort. 

Ok, maybe she can stay… just a revised version perhaps? 

It seems the universe has a funny way of keeping us all in check. 

Almost like it is making sure we remember we have to keep learning. 

It is also seems to be providing a little reminder that we are not totally in charge of our own destiny. Yikes, have I been quarantined too long? 

That feels so unsettling. 

Or does it?

When the universe says: “You are not actually in charge of this”, we learn a lot about who we really are. Sometimes our “not so pleasant sides” decide to make a dramatic entrance and other times we pull up for ourselves and each other. As someone who tends to compartmentalize negative emotions, allowing myself to “feel” the current state of the world has been oddly refreshing. Knowing that ultimately I am only in charge of “how I respond and adhere to professional guidance” has made me feel confident that I am doing all I can in this moment. The universe has a plan and I am not in charge of this event. 

I have one job: Learn myself better so I can control how I respond to things out of my control. 

To me, this IS very settling. 

In exploring these uncharted waters, remember: 

Now is the time to learn about ourselves: The good. The bad. The train-wreck. 

Embrace emotion. Feel emotion. Enjoy emotion. 

You may not have all of the answers. 

You may meet a side of yourself that you don’t totally love to be around. 

Congrats. You learned something. 

Breathe, acknowledge the discovery and then go wash your hands. 

We are going to be ok. 

Introducing: “Living Room Learning!”

Join us for supplemental dance and motivational training videos with Kelly, all suitable for your living room for a small fee of $10 a week via Google Classroom.

Here’s how this works:

To gain access to “Living Room Learning”, at the beginning of the week provide us with your email address and Venmo $10 to @Kellyds. Upon receipt of payment, you will receive an invite to a Google Classroom. Motivational and instructional videos with NEW CONTENT will become available EVERYDAY and will remain in the classroom on demand access.

What’s Included:

  • Upload Time-9AM EST; First Things First Daily Coffee Talks: Motivational Words from Founder/CEO Kelly Daugherty!
  • Upload Time- Noon EST: Daily 10 Minute Technique Tips video instruction for “on-the-go” technical training.
  • Upload Time- 3PM EST Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday/ Saturday: A variety of full length combo and technique classes.
  • Optional feedback from Thursday Free Livestream Instagram Class. Students may email or DM their video following the Livestream for custom coaching.

TODAY’S SALE: $25 TOTAL for access March 23rd-April 30th!

Available through 3/24/2020! 

Go 4 it! 4 tips 4 Staying Connected!
Now more than ever, it is important that we make strides to continue to stay connected. 
GREAT NEWS! You have so many options at your fingers tips. While texts, phone calls and FaceTime chats are a great way to keep up with our family, friends and co-workers, now is the time to get creative! Here are some of our favorite “outside the box” suggestions for connections.
  
  • Challenge Accepted!- Participate in social media challenges to feel connected and get free laughs!
  • Learn Together!- Take advantage of next to nothing on demand learning and free livestream classes!
  • Zoom Zumba!- Zoom offers a variety of free and paid options to get a virtual Zumba dance party started!
  • Virtual Book Club!- Grab some friends and FINALLY get that book club off the ground!
Episode 7: “T-H-E Mary Kay”
With Special Guest: Mary Kay Daugherty 
While the idea of “working from home” may be the new normal for millions of people around the world, some people have been finding success through independent sales out of their home offices for decades.This week we have one of the best in the home biz game: Mary Kay Daugherty!

As an independent consultant for Mary Kay Cosmetics for almost 4 decades, she has proven that success in sales stems from building and cultivating lasting relationships with customers and holding yourself accountable through daily goal setting.
Listen this week as she shares her secrets for sales success and maximizing daily productivity through a “work from home” lifestyle. 

To learn more about Mary Kay before the episode is available, check her out on Facebook: Mary Kay Daugherty or IG: @marykaydaugherty.

“Choreograph Your Life” is available this Wednesday at 2pm EST on Spotify and iTunes or wherever you download your favorite podcasts.

“19 Ways to Make the Best of COVID-19”

We get it. 

COVID-19 is the worst. 

  • It has taken thousands of precious lives. 
  • It has sent hundreds of people into quarantine. 
  • It has forced the cancellation of events people have spent their whole lives preparing for. 
  • It has sent the entire world into sheer panic mode and it seemingly gets worse by the hour. 

Unfortunately, the Coronavirus outbreak is our current reality and, in this instance, there isn’t much we can do about it. Trust me, I am just as concerned and disappointed about the events that surround the current pandemic as the rest of the world. As a person who relies solely on air travel and “large groups of people congregating” as their total source of income, yes, we can all agree this is not ideal. Personal problems aside, my heart is completely broken for all of the athletes and coaches who had their seasons cut short. The brides and grooms that have to postpone their carefully planned nuptials. The performers and technicians who have worked so hard to book cruise ship gigs, jobs at Amusement Parks and Broadway shows. The families that can’t see loved ones due to travel bans or concerned health risks for the elderly.

The list goes on and on and on.

We ALL hurt for you and ALL know this is the WORST.

That said, I guess if nothing else, we have all found common ground.

Friends, please know, I did not put this list together in an effort to act like I am just over here being all sunshine and rainbows or to act like this is something we shouldn’t be concerned about. 

We should be, it is very real. 

When I get anxious, I have a tendency to compartmentalize the issue and override it with something positive or proactive. Is this healthy? Hmmmm.. maybe not…but I refuse to allow myself to go into panic mode. I have learned that I do not operate well in that state. I am definitely an eternal optimist and it is more important now more than ever that we find a bright side in all of this. Instead of focusing on being scared or wasting my energy thinking about how much this totally sucks, I present to you my:

“19 Ways to Make the Best of COVID-19.” 

  1. Jump on the Calm Train. Remember, beyond the scary statistics surrounding the virus, a lot of the fear stems from the unknown. This is something new that our current society as a whole has not experienced before. Educate yourself through scientific facts presented by medical professionals and refrain from believing all of the dramatics you see on the internet. You may actually learn a lot of valuable information and help spread knowledge instead of just germs. For more information visit www.cdc.gov or www.who.int
  2. Phone a Friend. Don’t text, ACTUALLY call or, better yet, FaceTime a friend you have been meaning to catch up with but could never find the time. 
  3. Stream Sweat-Sesh. The internet has a ton of avenues to stream new workouts you can do in the privacy of your own living room with little to no equipment. View this as the perfect opportunity to introduce a new way of strengthening your body or fine tuning a practice without the fear of looking silly in front of fellow classmates. Some of our favorite paid subscriptions include: www.classpass.com, www.dailyburn.com, www.balletbeautiful.com, www.crunchlive.com . Looking for something free? YouTube offers a TON of pages with totally free workouts! Check out: Blogilates, Body Project, Popsugar Fitness and SO MANY MORE! Get moving! Endorphins are good. They make you happy. We need some happy!
  4. Organize Your Life. Room by room. Closet by closet. Get rid of all of your excess clutter so you have a clear vision and clear path once the virus is more controlled. While you’re at it with the organizing- go ahead and disinfect. 
  5. In Oprah (most of us)Trust. Grab a few friends from afar and start a book club! Decide what to read, set a finish date and discuss your thoughts on a conference call or in google hangouts! Not into group projects? Check out Oprah’s list of must reads, kick your feet up and enjoy! https://www.oprahmag.com/entertainment/books/g30459040/best-books-january-2020/
  6. Less Boring Leftovers. If you’re anything like me, you may lack a little creativity in the kitchen. What a perfect opportunity to awaken your inner Betty Crocker and research new culinary adventures. You may even go so far as to create recipe lists for each week during the summer. Your future is looking tasty and super efficient. 
  7. Tune into a podcast. There are hundreds of amazing podcasts out there with an endless list of topics on several different streaming platforms. We hear there is a great one called “Choreograph Your Life” that could keep you busy for up to 5 hours at this point! 
  8. Catch up on sleep. Pretty self explanatory. 
  9. Goal Set. 2020 may have started out a little sketch, but we can still turn this thing around! Reflect on your previous goals or maybe just ditch them and start over! Since when have we had a global shutdown? See this an opportunity to reflect, reset and get let go of regret! 
  10. Are you an Athlete or an Artist? What a perfect chance to focus on an element of your craft. In the confines of your own home you can do the following with ease: dribble a basketball, juggle a soccer ball, stretch, drill your high passé, practice a different painting technique… the list goes on and on! You don’t need a formal practice space to work on fine tuning details that will greatly improve your overall game. 
  11. Learn Something New. Sign up for an online webinar series and better YOURSELF. The KDs Collaborative has an upcoming FREE webinar session called Create 6-7-8 that focuses on where to begin with choreographing your life! Want something more in depth? We also offer an 8 week paid series! Check out the details on our website! 
  12. Play Dress Up. Remember the movie Clueless? Cher would spend hours trying on different outfits in her closet to get the perfect look. Pull out all of your clothes and put together new, reenergized looks by pairing different items or accessories. Take some selfies and throw  them all in an album on your phone. You can reference your library of ensembles next time you are gearing up for a night out. 
  13. Let the Games Begin! Sporting events might be on hold, but that doesn’t mean we can’t stay competitive. Be it board games in the living room or relay games in the backyard, everyone loves a friendly competition.  Home alone? No sweat! Your phone offers about a billion options of free games. Don’t want to stare at your screen? Go the old fashion route and set up solitaire on your coffee table! Keep score for yourself and compete against your own high score. I like to turn mine into my own Olympic Event. 
  14. Pump up the Jams! Jump on your streaming service of choice and organize your existing playlists and even build some new ones! On Sunday, the KDs Collaborative will be having a competition for the most creative playlist name! Follow us on instagram @thekdscollab to check out all the fun! 
  15. Go outside. There, I said it. Get some fresh air. Take a walk, a run, a hike, whatever. Just get out of your potentially stale living space. Wash your hands and honor social distancing. 
  16. Financial Focus. Need to get your finances under control? Throw all of the numbers on the table and get a handle on your budget! Follow the links for some tips on financial fitness: http://www.daveramsey.com, http://www.financialgym.com, http://www.wisebread.com,
  17. Surf Your Couch. Netflix. Hulu. Disney+. HBO Go. YouTube TV…. the list goes on. I would bet you would be lying if you had never thought, “I just want to stay home and do nothing.” Your wish is GRANTED! Grab a snack, go into “couch potato” mode and binge those shows waiting patiently in your queue accordingly. 
  18. Brainstorm Future Fun. Distance does make the heart grow fonder…. Make a list of the 5 things you want to do first once everything goes back to “normal.” Have you wanted to take a trip? Maybe you having been watching out a particular concert? Love sporting events? Whatever the case may be, plan ahead and organize the details so that when you can: MAKE IT HAPPEN!
  19. Unplug. Allow ONLY 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening to access any important news updates via trusted internet source or TV. Beyond the necessary news briefing, fall off the grid for a bit. Everything works better if you unplug it, dust off the cord and plug it back in (Has anyone actually tried to reset the year 2020? Maybe this is the appropriate time?)

Sending you all good health and happiness. Be sure to check on one another during this time. Tensions are high and we need each other’s support more than ever. Be patient and know we are all just trying our best.

Also, please wash your hands.

Have an awesome day!

Go 4 It: 4 Tips 4 Your Best Week

True or False: 

“There are people in this world who truly BELIEVE they have NO CONTROL over their ultimate success and happiness.”

Sadly, the answer is TRUE. 

And, unfortunately, YOU may even be one of them. 

New Week, New Game Plan: 

We don’t have time for the “Blame Game.” The world has too much going on to be out to get you. Don’t take it personally. We don’t have time for that. 

Here’s the Move: 

It’s time to recognize WE are ultimately responsible for OUR OWN happiness and success. Working toward this goal is as easy as 4 simple steps.

Best News Yet: Following this plan is a CHOICE we are ALLOWED to make everyday. 

Choosing to be happy and successful may feel like a daunting task to those in the deep, dark depths of a pity pit, so consider this your lifeline. 

Just CHOOSE to climb the rope.  

ONE: Strategic Energy Focus 

Our daily energy level is much like a bank account. 

A constant cycle of deposits and withdraws, sometimes ending in an overdraft fee. 

Though there are “non-negotiable responsibilities” we have throughout the course of the day that withdraw energy in various increments, there are SO many electives that disguise themselves like a pesky monthly subscription: $0.99 here… $1.29 there… 

Folks- these things add up and impact that bottom line. Overdraft fees look like sickness, exhaustion, maybe even depression. 

Find them and CANCLE them. 

Because there are only so many hours in a day, you must be strategic in where you focus your energy. And, like any budget, you must pay attention to the line items.  

Before you set your detailed, daily plan, think about the overall components of your day in terms of “Requirements” and “Electives.” 

Then ask yourself: 

Where are you spending the most “elective” time? Are these “electives” bringing you up or bringing you down? 

Remember, YOU are in charge of YOU, so budget wisely!

TWO: M-O-V-E 30 

You cannot argue with science. 

It is a proven fact that a person who spends 30 minutes a day being active in some way, shape, or form is a happier person. While you are assessing your week, commit to 30 minutes a day of physical ANYTHING! 

You do not have to be an exercise enthusiast to make this happen. 

Like to shop?- Walk the mall for 30 minutes. 

Like to dance?- Turn on your favorite playlist and jig around the kitchen. 

WHATEVER! 

Just get off your booty and move! 

THREE: Be the PRODUCER of YOUR Plan 

Think about your day like a motion picture. 

There are scripts, costumes, arranging of finances, edits… and so on, and so on…

The PRODUCER of a motion picture oversees the day to day production and makes certain boxes are being checked and wheels stay in motion down the correct route. 

They help create the plan and they make certain they STICK TO THE PLAN. 

At the beginning of the day, take 5-10 minutes to jot down your plan. 

Yes, actually write it. 

Yes, actually detail it. 

YES, actually PRODUCE it! 

FOUR: The RAH-RAH Rule 

If I can offer you the most important piece of advice I have learned to date, it is this: 

You HAVE to be your own cheerleader. 

Every single day. 

Even the days you’d rather choke on your own pom-pon. 

Those are days that are actually the most important. 

While it probably feels like second nature to offer praise to loved ones, self praise can feel very forced and almost laughable. 

Where to even begin? 

Let’s go back to being strategic. 

The RAH-RAH Rule: 

Three times a day, take the opportunity to give yourself a positive nod following this type of guideline. Times can be adjusted to fit your demanding schedule, but alas, they must be spaced appropriately throughout the day to keep KEEP THAT SPIRIT UP! 

  • 9am: “R”: Focus on your RESOURCES

Which resources are working well this morning? 

Your ability to make people laugh? Your ability to provide for your family? Your ability to think clearly? Your ability to engage with a positive support network? 

“Hey self! You are doing a great job with (insert resource themed compliment here).” 

  • 12pm: “A”: Focus on your APPEARANCE:

What is it about your physical appearance that is working today? 

Does your blouse color compliment your eyes? Is your hair cooperating more than usual? Do your calf muscles look particularly defined? Does your smile appear kinder or brighter? 

“Hey self! I noticed (insert appearance themed compliment here). Way to go!” 

  • 9pm “H”: Focus on your HEART

What is in your heart that deserves recognition? 

Were you kind to a stranger today? Did you listen to a friend in need? 

“Hey self! I am really proud of you for (insert heart themed compliment here). That was really admirable.”  

That’s it. 

It’s that simple. 

Take back the power and make it YOUR best week! 

Because ultimately, this is about you. 

Your Stage. Your Life. 

Choreograph Your Journey. 

Best, 

Kelly D 

“Keep the Change”

Yesterday I was taking some kind of silly, yoga-infused-with-hand-weight-nonsense type of class. It was an hour set aside in my day focused on “finding myself” and “thanking my body for the ability to grow stronger”. While, yes, both things happened in a roundabout way, it was nary the “spiritual retreat”  most trendy yoga places promise. While my belly button pooled up with sweat and my love handles crept over the top of my Lulus, I stared at myself in the mirror wondering where I would find my next carbohydrate following this torturous hour. 

“At the end of this three-minute squat circuit, hold at the bottom and pulse! YOU CAN! YOU LOOK SO STRONG!!!!” the instructor screamed over the aggressive bass. 

“…..deeeeaaath….” I muttered under my ujjayi breath. 

She bopped around the room, fist bumping to the Vegas Strip-inspired playlist. 

Smiling and giggling. 

All the while showing off her 14-pack stomach.

I growled, pulling up my leggings that had been holding on for dear life under the force of my tubular midsection. 

“CHANGE IS COMING, YOGIS!!!!!” 

These words shook me to my core.

I was overcome with emotions. 

Happiness! 

Love! 

Excitement! 

TRUE ELATION!

A simple act of change would set us free! 

The notion of being “freed by change” is a concept most people, myself at the front of the line, typically find unsettling. As we should. I mean, come on, I don’t even like not knowing how movies are going to end, let alone the thought of my reality as I know it becoming something it is no longer. 

Change means something is going to be different from what we have grown accustomed to, opening the door to variables that are likely momentarily out of our control. That can be scary stuff. But, as suggested, after the dust settles, change is only way we evolve and, in some cases, are freed of what is no longer serving us. 

So how do we welcome or, at the very least, combat the fear of change? 

Let’s play a game, shall we

1. Think of something you believe should change in your life. This could be something simple like your hair color (wait, that’s not always that simple), the time you wake up in the morning, the brand of toilet paper you buy, whatever.. just something relatively non-earth shattering. 

2. Identify the components: People? Place? Behavior? 

3. Make a pros/cons list. Hang with me here. I know it seems trite, but it’s important. 

4. Set aside the “pros” and study the “con” side of the list. Assess what it is that makes each item “scary”. Now shift the statement or item to become something that instead makes you excited. Or perhaps, if not excited, makes you step out of your comfort zone and learn something new. Or maybe, third option, you simply rephrase it to be something you better understand. It is up to you how you spin it, placing the power back in your hands.

Yep. It is just that easy. 

You are truly in control of all change.

Until you are not. 

Some change seeps into life like a fart in an elevator: unable to avoid and certainly uninvited. 

That type of change can totally rock your world. 

It is nearly impossible to prepare for and seemingly out of your control. 

It is the worst type of unexpected dinner guest. 

Breathe. 

I urge you to go back to the list exercise and reframe it as though YOU made the choice. Take back the power and walk away stronger and better for it. Maybe the universe has a plan, but maybe it doesn’t, so it’s up to you to take back the control and choreograph your journey.

The last 10 years have brought an exponential amount of change to my life. 

Moments of sorrow. Moments of joy. 

Moments of anger. Moments of contentedness. 

Moments of uncertainty. Moments of clarity. 

Some invited. Some just simply an aggressive elevator fart. 

As we embark on this journey together, I commit to indulge you in specifics, but until then, I would like to leave you with this thought: 

Life events have taught me that there really is no such thing as “spare change”. By definition, the idea of “spare change” refers to “change you don’t need” which, in my opinion, simply does not exist. Sure, you can “share” change, but to think any change, be it experiential or serving a monetary purpose, is simply “not needed” is ludicrous. 

Let’s practice: 

“Got any spare change, Miss?” 

“No. No, I do not.” 

Say it again. 

“Got any spare change, Miss?” 

“No. No, I do not.”

And again. And again. 

Smile. 

Friends, we are opening the chapter on a brand new decade!
Isn’t it incredible to know that there is NOTHING that CAN’T happen today, tomorrow, or in the next 10 years?! What an exciting time to be alive! 

I encourage you to let yourself be freed by change on the horizon. Let change help you evolve, grow, learn, and maybe even be freed. 

Don’t see it? 

Imagine it. 

Doesn’t exist? 

Create it. 

There is my two cents. 

Keep the change. 

Best, 

Kelly